Ravenhill (mansion)

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Ravenhill was the mansion of William Weightman in Philadelphia.[1] It was designed by Willis Gaylord Hale.


The building was constructed in 1802. It was owned by a number of individuals, but by 1844 was acquired by the "Quinine King", William Weightman, who tended to his exotic garden of rare plants and flowers.[2] In 1876, Weightman undertook some extensive renovations,[3] and hired his niece's husband architect Willis Gaylord Hale, who designed it in the Elizabethan style. Besides Ravenhill, Weightman also owned a three story house on Rittenhouse Square and a summer cottage at Cape May.

Upon his death in 1904, the Ravenhill Mansion passed to his daughter Anne Weightman, who in 1910 gave the estate to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty of the Archdiocese would go on to grant the Mansion to the Religious of the Assumption. They opened a private girls' school there. Later it became a K-12 girl's school known as Ravenhill Academy. It is best known for its most famous attendee, Grace Kelly. The last class graduated in 1976.[4]

The stained glass window of foundress Mother (now Saint) Marie Eugenie was moved to the congregations house in Lonsdale, Pennsylvania in 1982 when Ravenhill was sold to Philadelphia University,[5] which later merged with the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science to form Thomas Jefferson University. As of 2019, the mansion houses the administrative and faculty offices for the School of General Studies.


  1. ^ "William Weightman Dead. One of the Largest Real Estate Owners in the Country". New York Times. August 26, 1904. Retrieved 2010-09-28. William Weightman, popularly known as the richest man in Pennsylvania, and certainly one of the largest real estate owners in the country, died this morning at his Summer home, "Raven Hill," in West School Lane, Falls of Schuylkill.
  2. ^ Mnardi, Joseph. "History Matters: The Amazing Weightman", The Local, September 7, 2017
  3. ^ "RavenHill Mansion", Historical Building Survey of Philadelphia University
  4. ^ "Ravenhill Academy in East Falls holds all-school reunion", The Review, June 20, 2018
  5. ^ "Ravenhill Academy Reunion", Assumption Sisters

Coordinates: 40°00′56″N 75°11′47″W / 40.01547°N 75.19639°W / 40.01547; -75.19639